The story of Bushwick’s El Garden parallels that of so many community garden projects from the last decade: community bands together, transforms vacant space, grows food, employs people, encourages composting, then tragically loses lot to development.
The difference between El Garden and so many defunct gardens is that El Garden still exists, but it was recently placed on a list of lots slated for redevelopment under DiBlasio’s affordable housing plan. Although El Garden supports affordable housing, they maintain that the development will cater to medium incomes much higher than the average median income for Bushwick. To show your support for the preservation of this important green space, sign their petition here.
Of the lots slated for development, at least fifteen are community gardens. The petition asserts that Bushwick deserves affordable housing, but not at the expense of green space. “These actions all get the conversation started, which may be the most important outcome of the petition. It’s a tool that can be used to raise awareness within the community on what’s going on, and a way for people to get involved,” says Abby Lee, a member of the garden and the creator of the petition.